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.´ Introduced by Jay McTighe and Grant P. Wiggins in 1998, UbD espouses the process of ³backward design´ in the development of a school curriculum. Teaching for Understanding "Teaching for understanding" is the main tenet of UbD. In this framework, course design, teacher and student attitudes, and the classroom learning environment are factors not just in the learning of facts but also in the attainment of an ³understanding´ of those facts, such as the application of these facts in the context of the real world or the development of an individual's insight regarding these facts. This understanding is reached through the formulation of a ³big idea´-- a central idea that holds all the facts together and makes these connected facts worth knowing. After getting to the ³big idea,´ students can proceed to an ³understanding´ or to answer an ³essential question´ beyond the lessons taught. Through a coherent curriculum design and distinctions between ³big ideas´ and ³essential questions,´ the students should be able to describe the goals and performance requirements of the class. To facilitate student understanding, teachers must explain the ³big ideas´ and ³essential questions´ as well as the requirements and evaluative criteria at the start of the class. The classroom environment should also encourage students to work hard to understand the ³big ideas´ by having an atmosphere of respect for every student idea, including concrete manifestations such as displaying excellent examples of student work. Backward Design The UbD concept of ³teaching for understanding´ is best exemplified by the concept of backward design, wherein curricula are based on a desired result--an ³understanding´ or a ³big idea´--rather than the traditional method of constructing the curricula, focusing on the ³facts´ and hoping that an ³understanding´ will follow. Backward design as a problem-solving strategy can even be traced back to the ancient Greeks. In his book ³How to Solve It´ (1945), the Hungarian mathematician George Polya noted that the Greeks used the strategy of ³thinking backward´ by knowing what you want as a solution in order to solve a problem. Backward design is geared to eliminate two common flaws in the traditional method: coveragefocused teaching and activity-focused teaching. In coverage-focused teaching, educators try to cover all topics as specified by a textbook or teaching manual for the whole school year, but end up with students who do not understand why they are being taught all this information. In activity-focused teaching, educators come up with all sorts of activities that students participate in and enjoy, but again, students do not completely understand why. This is what backward design aims to resolve: to make students understand and gain a deeper insight into why they are being taught these information or made to participate in these kinds of activities.
such as observations and dialogues. . These assessment methods are classified by McTighe and Wiggins into three types: performance tasks. but rather include specific goals that contribute to a deeper understanding of a topic. E = Equip students.  The WHERETO criteria must be met cumulatively by all activities. Second stage . Where are the students coming from? (teachers) H = Hook all students and hold their interest. help them experience the key ideas and explore the issues. Going back to the example of the English class. an stage adaptation. the highest test of understanding in which students are given a real world challenge wherein they must display a critical and effective use of the knowledge and skills learned in class. criteria referenced assessment such as quizzes. lists which resources to be used. which provide both instructor and students feedback on how well the facts/concepts are being understood.Identifying desired results Identifying desired results means defining the objectives of the course/class. but also develop a love for reading and appreciation for literature. The educator should now choose which assessment methods are suited to track the progress of a student. or even to the extent of fan fiction--based on his/her favorite text.Planning learning experiences and instruction The last stage. in which students are not only prepared to score well in national English proficiency exams. WHERETO stands for W = Where is the unit going? What is expected? (students). planning learning experiences and instruction. tests and prompts. details students' activities throughout the class.Defining acceptable evidence 3.Defining acceptable evidence through the different types of assessment The second stage.Identifying desired results 2. and unprompted assessment or self-assessment primarily for students.Planning learning experiences and instruction First stage .Three steps of backward design Backward design entails three steps: 1. defining acceptable evidence refers to the process by which the educator will teach and gauge the level of understanding of a student. One example would be the desired results from an English literature class. Desired results cannot be just limited to traditional parameters such as a good performance in state assessment tests. and evaluates if these activities and resources follow the WHERETO criteria. Third stage . a teacher may ask students to create works--from a parody.
T = Be tailored to the different needs. students can be said to have understanding when they: 1. Mind. showing an example of creating a work from a literary source (³Clueless´ is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma). in the appropriate contexts. The WHERETO criteria are also the indicators to see if the course fits the idea of ³teaching for understanding. and E. as the students enjoy the film. and abilities of learners. 6. interests. Can interpret by offering an individual insight to ideas and events. 2. Have perspective by seeing things in the context of the big picture and viewing these critically. 3. 5. H and E criteria--W. the movie hooks the attention of the students. 4. that backward design does not use traditional methods of teaching. to achieve the desired results. The book.´ This can be illustrated in some activities for the English class. showing the movie ³Clueless´ in class can fulfill the W. however. basing a sensitive perception on prior direct experience. H. Six Facets of Understanding According to Wiggins and McTighe. Can explain by providing thorough and justifiable accounts of phenomena. O = Be organized to maximize initial and sustained engagement as well as effective learning. demonstrates some of these points: For applicability. For example. & Cocking. This does not mean. and School´ (Bransford. E = Allow students to evaluate their work and its implications. learning must be guided by generalized principles. Can apply and use that knowledge to diverse contexts. 2002).R = Provide opportunities to rethink and revise their understandings and work. Knowledge gained through rote learning or plain memorization is not readily applied compared to knowledge learned with understanding. a synthesis of studies conducted by the American National Research Council. Can empathize by finding value in what others may find as implausible. It only espouses that traditional and alternative methods be used hand-in-hand. Experience. they are able to experience the key idea that literature can be enjoyed and is alive. facts and data. Brown. Have a self-knowledge or self-awareness that enables them to see what shapes and impedes their own understanding. . Research Base supporting UbD Several tenets of UbD are supported by data compiled in the book ³How People Learn: Brain.
Leido. such as one by Smith. Manny Villar in August 2009. Lucena City (Region IV-A) 6.Masbate National High School.Feedback is an important component of learning. This move was backed by Senate Resolution 1295. Isabela (Region II) 4. The UbD framework will be formally implemented in the Philippines through the 2010 Secondary Curriculum which will be implemented in AY 2010-2011. Memorial National High School.Isabela National High School.Angeles City National Trade School. to be applied across all subjects and intended teach students about the 18 Fair Trade Laws.Ilocos Norte National High School. the UbD framework slowly made its way into the Philippine education system. the integration of the UbD framework in the public school system was begun as early as 2007.Nueva Valencia National High School. and the Stock Market Basics topic in Economics for fourth-year students. Understanding by Design in the Philippines Because of its success in the United States. where.are similar to the methods espoused by the UbD. with an order by then Mayor Enrico ³Recom´ Echiverri that the framework be implemented in the Basic Education Curriculum of Caloocan City public schools.Jose J. Other tenets of UbD have also been supported by studies influencing student achievement in American public schools.Mangaldan National High School.Quezon National High School. Albay (Region V) 8. Interactive teaching--defined by the study as ³applications or interpretations of the material to develop new or deeper understandings of a given topic´ -. Pangasinan (Region I) 3.Tabaco National High School. Masbate (Region V) 9. Guimaras (Region VI) . The 22 Pilot Schools for the 2010 Secondary Education Curriculum 1. The 2010 curriculum. Laoag City (Region I) 2. Many assessments measure only propositional (factual) knowledge and never ask whether students know when. filed by Sen. and why to use that knowledge. Earlier implemented by private schools. Angeles City (Region III) 5. but opportunities to provide feedback are scarce in classrooms. which supports the implementation of the UbD framework in the Basic Education Curriculum. These topics include Consumer Education. Lee and Newmann in 2001 which show that interactive methods of teaching help students learn more in reading and mathematics. Jr. has included several topics that are similar to the UbD tenet favoring the application of knowledge in real-world situations. Calapan City (Region IV-B) 7. currently under pilot testing in 22 schools all across the country.
the Department of Education will begin intensive mass trainings of public school teachers all around the country for the implementation of the 2010 Secondary Education Curriculum. Accordingly. thus temporarily assuaging the fear of a lack of materials to use for the implementation of UbD. On February 4-6. Textbook publishers such as Rex. The Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE).Valencia National High School. 2010. Santos City (Region XII) 18. Surigao City (CARAGA) 20. Local educational publishers have also responded to the need for instructional materials aligned to UbD. plus an Indigenous Peoples' Curriculum.10. a National Education Conference on Understanding by Design was held at the Manila Hotel. Tagbilaran City (Region VII) 13. Cecilio Putong National High School. 2010  . Makati City (NCR) 22.Daniel R.Cebu City National Science High School.Ramon Magsaysay High School. In the summer of 2010. Department of Education representatives released the Curriculum Guides for each subject area. Vibal has also launched a UbD website to aid educators in understanding and implementing UbD in the Philippines. which has been mandated to conduct trainings for private schools under the Educational Service Contracting . also to be implemented in rural areas.Pigcawayan National High School. together with the Teaching Guides for the first quarter of First Year High School.Sta. Diwa. Cebu City (Region VII) 12.Ayala National High School. also had a Visayas/Mindanao leg held on February 8-10.Surigao City National High School.Makati High School.Pines City High School. Cotabato (Region XII) 19. Davao City (Region XI) 16. During the conference. Baguio City (CAR) Other revisions in the 2010 curriculum include provisions for a Madaris and Madrasah-based curriculum for Muslim students in schools in Mindanao. Cubao.New Society National High School. Phoenix. Iloilo City (Region VI) 11. sponsored by the Fund for Assistance to Private Education.Dr. DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus announced that the 2010 Revised Secondary Education Curriulum (RSEC) will be rolled out this June 2010 and will be implemented initially for First Year High School only. Quezon City (NCR) 21. Aguinaldo National High School. Valencia City (Region X) 15.Digos City National High School. Barbara National Comprehensive High School. Gen. The conference. and  Vibal have adapted Teachers' Manuals and Teaching Modules to principles and suggested templates of UbD. Digos City (Region XI) 17. Zamboanga City (Region IX) 14.
The building blocks of ³understanding. it takes and plans content in order to conduct effective and engaging learning and teaching that are based on the desired results.). . Big Idea . etc. including schools under De La Salle Philippines and Holy Name University in Tagbilaran.making connections and binding together knowledge into something that makes sense so that said knowledge can be widely and effectively applied in realistic tasks and settings. Curriculum .(ESC)/ Educational Voucher System (EVS) programs.a long-term.the blueprint for learning. Other private schools are also in the process of adapting the UbD framework into their curricula. Understanding .´ big ideas are not necessarily limited to just one area of study. Some Key Terms in UbD Assessment . has actually begun training private school teachers on UbD and the RSEC since the summer of 2009. achievement targets and performance standards (traditional parameters such as national achievement exams). but also make those facts worth learning.the main idea which not only connects all the disjointed facts that are taught in a class. An example is the big idea of ³freedom of speech´: it not only limits itself to the field of social sciences and the law (basic human rights.the objectives of the course. Bohol. how is it defined in the constitution?) but also extends to the humanities (the banning of literary works. learning-focused act of determining the extent to which the desired results are on the way to being achieved and to what extent they have been achieved. Desired results . it consists of intended outcomes (the understanding). This is different from evaluation in the sense that evaluation is short-term and credential-focused.
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